Chapter One: Have a Nice Trip, See You Next Fall… / 17.11.12

When I think back to my travels in the French Rivera I see palm trees, sunny beaches, beautiful salt water waves, and that one curb that ruined it all. It has now been a month since I flew off of my bike onto the pavement below and slowed my pace to a record low- stationary. A minor concussion, scrapes and bruises have since healed, but a tear to a small muscle in my leg has made me switch gears and paths for this trip.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? It’s a long story but worth sharing I think, and mostly true…

I have not blogged since Aix en Provence, a beautiful city where we stayed with “The Bolt” aka Thibault and his lovely girlfriend Petra. We celebrated his birthday with a meal and a lot of laughter in company of his Dutch friends, and “crappy english” as the common language. We left Aix and headed for the coast to meet the notorious French Rivera- and hopefully a few celebrities. It looked like a movie set in many areas, the roads lined withes palm trees, beautiful teal blue water and stylish french families lounging around on the beach. After a quick swim, lunch, and a short jam session we pushed our bikes out of the sand and headed to camp in a vineyard off the main road and watched a beautiful French sunset.

The next day we hit the coast in St. Maxime with our bikes packed. Not soon after we began cycling I hit a small curb  with my tire trying to evade traffic, and then my head hit the sidewalk- hard. At first I thought I had died because all I saw was light and felt no pain, but quickly I realized I was still in the game when my whole body began to throb. After rolling around in excruciating pain for a moment or two and making sure nothing important was broken, I remembered enough french to say “C’est d’accord” to a worried looking Frenchman standing over me. He tried to explain to Devin when he rolled up “La tete!” that I had hit my head very hard- but not until Kallie and Andrew arrived from turning around ( I guess they saw it all in their rear-view mirror) did things settle down, and the man went on his way.

We had a scare when Andrew held up some fingers to assess the brain damage I had experienced from hitting my head so hard and asked “how many?”.  All I could do was squint and guess because his hand was a giant blur- “thats it” I thought, “permanent and irreversible brain damage, goodbye PhD dreams!”. After freaking out for a few seconds, the  mood was lightened when my glasses were recovered from further down the sidewalk (scratch-free), and I could see he was clearly holding up three fingers.

I limped away with minor blood loss from a gushy elbow wound, a cracked helmet, and all of my body parts and vital organs in-tact. Thankfully my bike suffered only mild disfiguration to the handle bar ends, and we found a place for me to sit while the dizziness and nausea passed. In the end we ended up cycling about 20 km that day, high hopes and realistic ends put us at our first paid camp site for a night of tacos, beer, and for me- tylenol.

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